October 12, 2020

Positive Reports On Trade, Jobs In Canada


  • As Reuters reported, exports from and imports to Canada both declined in August, “hinting that the momentum of the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis could have slowed more than anticipated.” Imports were down 1.2 percent, while exports dropped one percent. Canada’s trade deficit narrowed slightly to C$2.45 billion from C$2.53 billion from in July. Imports from the United States, fell 1.6 percent while exports to the south increased one percent due to higher lumber exports. Exports to all other countries are seven percent below pre-pandemic levels and imports are still down remained down 5.1 percent.
  • The Canadian economy added 378,200 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to nine percent from 10.2 percent in August. Analysts had predicted a gain of 156,600 jobs and a 9.7 percent unemployment rate. Employment in Canada is still 720,000 off the pre-COVID pandemic high, however.
  • The number of jobs open in the United States fell from about 6.85 million in August to 6.49 million in August, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) said last week. Manufacturing job openings, however, were at their highest level since July 2019 as the total number of jobs left unfilled reached 460,000 in August, up from 430,000 in July.
  • The U.S. DOL also announced last week that, during the week that ended October 3, 840,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits for the first time, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average of first-time claims was 857,000, a decrease of 13,250 from the previous week. Additionally, during the week that ended September 26, nearly 10.8 million individuals continued to receive jobless benefits, a figure that was down from nearly 12 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also declined.
  • In other economic news: the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects domestic natural gas production and demand to drop this year from record highs in 2019 due to reduced economic activity and energy prices as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.